Humanities (2015 to 2017)

The Humanities Department at DSLV Senior and Sixth Form consists of four subject areas – Geography, History, Religious Education (taught as Religion and Philosophy in KS3 and Philosophy & Ethics in KS4) and Citizenship. There are, however, many other subject areas covered in the teaching of Humanities including sociology, politics, economics, moral issues and cultural awareness.

In Year 7, 8 and 9, students are taught in separate subject areas by specialist teaching staff. In Years 10 and 11, all students follow a GCSE Philosophy & Ethics and a Citizenship short course and can opt to take Geography, History or both at GCSE Level.

Teaching in all Humanities subjects is in mixed ability groups. The Department aims to give all students appropriate access to the curriculum and, in order to deliver it effectively, emphasis is placed on varied teaching methods. This includes group work, role play, discussion, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities, creative model-making, art work, field trips, ICT and independent learning tasks. The Department has fully encompassed the various strands of the Key Stage 3 Strategy – Literacy, Numeracy, ICT and Learning to Learn.

Emphasis is placed on the importance of homework as well as class tasks, and students are rewarded for high levels of effort and attainment. Students' work is marked in accordance with the school marking policy and is highlighted with successes (work completed well) and tips and targets (areas for future improvement). A school house point reward system operates and is supported by the Department certification scheme and prizes on some occasions.

Facilities The Department is housed in a recently-built block. There are six purpose-built, well-equipped classrooms and a central storage area for Geography resources and one for History, Religious Education and Citizenship. Every classroom has a laptop projector with wireless internet access - all teachers have their own laptops. The department also has 30 laptops for student use – all with wireless internet access, numerous software packages for all of the Humanities subjects and three CD players.

Humanities Department Aims The department aims are:

  • To provide an environment where appropriate learning can take place and to allow each student to achieve maximum potential
  • To stimulate interest in the study of Geography, History, Philosophy & Ethics and Citizenship
  • To foster a better understanding of different communities and cultures within society
  • To instil value and respect for the history, lifestyle and religious beliefs of other groups
  • To develop a spiritual and moral understanding of themselves and others
  • To enable student development to occur so that they may acquire facts and knowledge that can be applied in later life
  • To develop skills of analysis, enquiry and discussion that can be applied to other subjects and used in later life
  • To present students with a variety of different methods of learning so that, whatever their level of ability, they can feel a sense of achievement in all that they do
  • To prepare and train KS3 students for GCSE
  • To enable every KS4 student to leave school with at least one Humanities qualification

British Values


Democracy is paramount to teaching in the Humanities subjects. In citizenship students follow a scheme of work on democracy, voting, political parties and how laws are made. In history students see how this country moves from the feudal system and the rule of kings to the beginning of democracy to the fight against dictatorship in WWII. In Geography students follow schemes of work about life in China and how being a one party state affects peoples life there. In philosophy and ethics students complete a scheme on religion and equality: this includes the changing role of women in society and religion.

The Rule of Law:

The importance of Laws. In citizenship students study how laws are made, why they are important and how they are enforced. History allows students to see what happens to lawbreakers in many schemes of work : Guy Fawkes, American West Outlaws, Catholic Dissidents and Vagrants in the Elizabethan period, Boudicca and Hereward the Wake in early English History. Geography reinforces the difference between British and European life and highlights the changing relationship with Europe. Philosophy and Ethics teaches the earliest rules of law: those of the major world religions. From year 7 the Ten Commandments are studied which is the basis of English law.

Individual Liberty:

Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Citizenship teaches the importance of human rights and how they affect our lives. History studies various struggles for freedom in particular the struggles of the Black Peoples of the America s and the plight of those in the Holocaust and how having individual liberty removed affects people and their lives. Geography studies migration and how human rights are affected in various countries. Philosophy and ethics again studies religion and equality and how religion deals with individual liberty 

Mutual Respect:

Core to humanities teaching is mutual respect and understanding of different peoples. Citizenship looks at the issues of cultural diversity and community cohesion. History teaches mutual respect and understanding and the lessons we can learn from when this breaks down, Holocaust, Black peoples of the Americas, WWI. Geography students learn about the similarities and differences between British culture and that of European countries, as well as further abroad (South and North

America).  The students empathize with indigenous tribes of the Brazilian Rainforest. Philosophy and Ethics clearly teaches mutual respect by having students understand different world faiths and understanding of different people.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:

A core element of humanities teaching is tolerance – particularly in Philosophy and Ethics. This is important skill in Philosophy and Ethics and allows students an understanding of people with different beliefs and faiths to their own worldview. This is reflected in citizenship where cultural diversity and tolerance are a module of the course. History touches on this with studies of religious intolerance and its devastating effects in particular during the Tudor period, the American West and during the Holocaust. Geography teaches about world cultures and this reflects different beliefs systems.


The study of RS and Philosophy and Ethics throughout Key Stage 3 and 4 is an important forum for students to consider their own ideas, values and beliefs as well as learning about and learning to respect others beliefs and values. It provides students with the opportunity to develop a tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs and the ability to show mutual respect both within the school setting as well as the wider society.

Students are encouraged to develop a understanding of the importance of liberty and democracy and be able to make comparison between themselves and other countries and religious faiths. This is essential in order to build tolerance and to allow students to enter the adult world with a true ability to embrace diversity and show respect to all.


Geography covers cultural diversity and migration past and present, including how we all descended from immigrants as the British isles was uninhabited 20,000 years ago. Students gain an understanding of multicultural Britain and the role Britain plays in a globalised world. Students gain an understanding of the nations that make up the British Isles, Great Britain, and the UK and how this came about.

Citizenship students at KS4 look at British Law and Democracy and Crime.


History provides a firm foundation for the understanding of British Values. Within all three key stages students will investigate the individuals and events that have shaped the nation that we are currently living in. At Key Stage 3 students will investigate the ‘Making of the United Kingdom’ and the development of the individual states towards a fully united country. Students also have the opportunity to investigate the changing nature of British society through the Industrial Revolution and Empire building. Students can assess and interpret attitudes towards diverse cultures and groups and how these have modified over time. This is particularly evident in student’s studies of Slavery. Students also investigate the political changes that have occurred from the Magna Carta to the increase in influence of Parliament in the years since the English Civil War.

At Key Stage 4 students research the twentieth century and how British culture has been affected by the changing world in the last one hundred years. Important elements involve the changes in society as a result of war, the use of soldiers from around the Empire in aiding the fight in WW1 and the development of the state in the inter war period.



The Course – Its Rationale and Organisation In Year 7, Geography, History and Religion are taught as part of a Humanities programme over 7 lessons a fortnight.  These three subjects are delivered by a single teacher, to help transition from primary school, and are taught in rotation.  In Years 8 and 9, students receive two lessons of geography a fortnight. Two units of work are studied in each academic year:

Year Seven What is happening to the Rainforests? Should we protect our Coastline?

Year Eight People Everywhere Restless Earth

Year Nine What is the Future of Our Planet? World Development

Throughout all six units, students are encouraged to develop the following geographical skills:

  • Asking geographical questions
  • Suggesting investigation sequences
  • Collecting/recording/presenting/evaluating evidence/drawing conclusions
  • Appreciating values and attitudes
  • Using extended geographical vocabulary
  • Using atlases/globes/maps and drawing maps/plans/graphs
  • Communicating, including using ICT
  • Experience decision-making
  • Locating places and environments
  • Describing and explaining physical and human features
  • Exploring global citizenship
  • Investigating change in places
  • Describing scale contexts


The Course - Its Rationale and Organisation In Year 7 students are taught History in their Humanities lessons on a rotation with Geography and Religion.  In Years Eight and Nine, students receive 2 lessons of History per fortnight.  There is a focus throughout KS3 on the development of technology, leadership, women's history and changing beliefs and ideaology.

Year Seven Was Boudicca Britain's first hero? Medieval Realms The Crusades Joan of Arc: Martyr, Magic or Mad?

Year Eight Why was Queen Elizabeth I so successful? Witch hunting in the seventeenth century Guy Fawkes The Black Peoples of the Americas

Year Nine What changed in the 19th century?  Using the Titanic as a focus One bullet, 20 million deaths: why did murder lead to war in 1914? How could the Holocaust have happened? Twentieth Century Warfare through film

Through the study of all units, students are encouraged to develop the following:

  • An understanding of chronology
  • Knowledge of key events, individuals and issues
  • An understanding of the causes and consequences of change
  • Knowledge of continuity both within, and across, periods
  • An understanding of similarities and differences within and across periods
  • The ability to understand and use various types of source material
  • The ability to evaluate source information
  • An understanding of what makes sources reliable or biased
  • Knowledge and understanding of the historical development of people in other parts of the world
  • The ability to compare historical development in Britain with that in other parts of the world
  • To understand the world today in the context of the past
  • The ability to gather, organise and present information independently

Religious Education

The Course – Its Rationale and Organisation In Years seven, eight and nine, students receive one lesson of Philosophy & Ethics a week. Students will study:

Year 7: Introduction to Religion and Philosophy What Christians believe about God What Christians believe about the Son of God Judaism: What does it mean to be Jewish?

Year 8: Hinduism: What does it mean to be a Hindu? Origins, Purpose and Destiny

Year 9: Buddhism: What does it mean to be a Buddhist? Christian Ways of Living – Religion and Human Relationships + Forgiveness and Reconciliation (GCSE Short Course)

Students are encouraged to develop the following skills:

  • Understanding of birth, marriage and death ceremonies
  • The multi-cultural nature of religion
  • Moral issues and their effects on us
  • Understanding of the origins of world religions
  • Understanding of sacred texts
  • Understanding of religious buildings and methods of worship
  • The meaning of religion in the lives of ordinary people


Citizenship is a statutory part of the National Curriculum and Humanities has much to offer; indeed, it arguably offers the best context for teaching citizenship through geography, history and philosophy and ethics. Humanities offer particular strengths in:

  • Developing values and dispositions for citizenship, for example learning to value self and others, developing understanding and empathy for people, developing ideas about fairness and justice
  • Developing key concepts for citizenship, such as rights and responsibilities, diversity, change and futures
  • Developing knowledge and understanding of their community, country, Europe and the world
  • Developing citizenship skills, including participation and decision-making skills, enquiry, questioning and evaluation skills, the abilities to discuss, listen, express a point of view and resolve differences



The Course – Its Rationale and Organisation The school follows the OCR syllabus C (Bristol Project) at GCSE and the Entry Level Certificate (ELC). Both follow the same themes over the two-year cycle. The themes covered are as follows:

a) Economic Systems and Development

In this unit, agriculture and industry are investigated through case study material covering a wide range of scales and locations including the U.K. and other EU countries, Japan and Brazil. This unit also includes global disparities in levels of development.

b) Population and Settlement

This unit looks at the distribution of population at a variety of scales, the problems of population growth and the reasons for migration. Settlement structure and urban land use patterns and changes are investigated through compulsory fieldwork/coursework.

c) Physical Systems and Environments

Here the emphasis is on physical (natural) processes and environments such as rivers, coasts and weather and climate, and their interaction with people. Climate change and its influence by people is also studied.

d) Natural Hazards and People

Although the processes responsible for hazard events such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding and drought are covered in some detail, the main focus is on the effects of these events on people and countries at different stages of economic development.

e) Sustainable Development

In this unit, special attention is given to the issue designated by the examination board for the DME (decision-making exercise) exam taken in January of Year 11.

The final GCSE grade is awarded in the following way:

  • Terminal Examination June / Year 11 50%
  • Decision-making Exam (DME) Jan / Year 11 30%
  • Fieldwork / Coursework June – Sept / Year 10-11 20%

There is a choice of tiered paper for both the DME and the terminal exam:

  • Foundation Grades C – G
  • Higher Grades A* - D

For students following the Entry Level Certificate (ELC), grades of Pass, Merit or Distinction can be attained. Marks for the DME are awarded in the following way:

  • Four short pieces of coursework based on themes a) – d) 40%
  • Oral DME exam based on theme e) 30%
  • Terminal Examination (1 hour, short answer paper) 30%


The Course – Its Rationale and Organisation The school follows the OCR SHP syllabus (Syllabus A) at GCSE. The components covered for the examination are:

The development of Kenilworth Castle – Local History Study This is the Controlled Assessment unit in which students will be given a taught element about the development of the Castle.  This is followed by 8 hours of controlled conditions in which students are expected to write a 2000 word essay to answer the question provided each year by OCR.

Medicine Through Time – Study in Development This topic covers the development of medicine - both ideas about, and treatment of - throughout the whole of History, from Prehistory through to the Modern day.

The American West – Study in Depth This topic covers the period 1840-1895 in America.   Students study the settlement of Western and Central America over this time and the effect this had on the Native American indians.

Marks for GCSE are awarded as follows:

  • Controlled Assessment – Kenilworth Castle 25%.  This is carried out at the beginning of Year 10.
  • Paper 2 – Medicine Source paper 30%.  This is a 1hour 30min exam taken in January of Year 11.
  • Paper 1 – Medicine and American West 45%.  This is a 2hour exam taken in June of Year 11.

Religious Education

The Course – Its Rationale and Organisation The school follows the GCSE short course OCR syllabus. The components covered during the course include the following:

  • Religion and Equality
  • Religion, Peace and Justice
  • Religion and Medical Ethics
  • Religion and Science
  • Death and the Afterlife

Students will develop knowledge and understanding of several major world religions within the above units. They will learn about religious and non-religious responses to major moral issues.


The Course – Its Rationale and Organisation

The school follows the GCSE short course OCR syllabus. Students will study Citizenship in either year 10 or 11 for one year.

  • 40% of the course is dedicated to the one hour exam which will be sat on January 16th 2012
  • The remaining 60% of the course comprises of a controlled assessment which will replace coursework and will be completed in school

Students will study four key units;

  • Firstly the identity of the United Kingdom and the impact that cultural diversity has had upon society
  • Secondly students will investigate the role of the police and the law and what organisations protect our rights
  • The third unit comprises of voting and democracy
  • The fourth unit looks at of the United Kingdom and its relationship with other countries and organisations

Revision sessions will be held in the run up to the exam and CGP revision guides are available from your child’s Citizenship teacher for £2 each.



A Level History For A Level History, the AQA exam board syllabus is followed.

AS History France in Revolution, 1774-1815 How extensive was the impact of the French Revolution on France and its neighbours?

Introduction This unit provides an overview of the internal development of the French Revolution and its impact on major European states. The political, social and economic impact of the Revolution and of the ensuing period of Napoleonic rule are main issues. This unit raises important issues about the relative strengths of the revolutionary and conservative forces and the nature and impact of political change. As well as embracing political ideas and developments, the social, cultural and economic dimensions of the period will be addressed and students will assess the importance of key individuals such as Louis XVI, Robespierre and Napoleon. This examination of the impact of the French Revolution on leaders, peoples, states, institutions and policies generates opportunities for debate about the causes and results of revolutionary activity.


  • The Origins of the French Revolution, 1774–1789
  • The Ancient Regime: absolutism, the Estates and Parliaments
  • The financial crisis of the monarchy in the 1770s: the costs of war and the issue of taxation
  • The ideas of the Enlightenment: the philosophes and challenges to the existing order
  • The failure of the Finance Ministers: the Assembly of Notables and the Revolt of the Nobles
  • The French Revolution: from Monarchy to Republic, 1789–1792
  • The calling of the Estates General and the creation of the National Assembly
  • The importance of the Parisian crowd and peasant risings
  • Reforms leading to the establishment of the Constitutional monarchy in 1791
  • The radicalisation of the Revolution: the impact of religious change, the war against Austria and Prussia, the growing dominance of the sans-culottes
  • The creation of the Republic
  • The French Revolution: Terror and the search for stability
  • The execution of the King and the establishment of the Terror
  • The influence and fall of Robespierre
  • Events leading to the establishment of the Directory, including the risings of 1795 and the White Terror
  • Events leading to the seizure of power by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799
  • Napoleonic Rule in France, 1799–1815
  • The establishment and consolidation of Empire
  • Napoleonic rule within France: the impact of social, religious, legal and administrative reforms
  • Economic policies, including the issue of taxation
  • The extent to which Napoleon had transformed France by 1815
  • A Sixties Social Revolution? British Society, 1959–1975

Introduction This unit provides an opportunity to investigate the nature and the extent to which there was social and cultural change in Britain during the 1960s. Students will need to demonstrate a sound understanding of the key changes and attitudes developing in the 1960s, but the main emphasis will be on analysis and assessment of these changes between the years 1959 and 1975 and whether their impact can be interpreted as a social revolution or not. An examination of the 1960s will focus on the extent to which British values were transformed and will include a study of new trends in popular culture, the changing status and roles of women and youth, the importance of government legislation and the impact of immigration on Britain by 1975.

Content In order to judge the extent of change across the period, candidates will need to have a broad understanding of the political and economic development of Britain since 1945 and, in particular, the commitment to full employment and the provision of a welfare state brought about by the Labour government from 1945 and maintained during the Conservative dominance from 1951. Candidates should also have an awareness of the prevailing attitudes towards education and class, of trends in leisure and popular entertainment and of the status of women during the 1950s.

  • The political framework, 1959–1964
  • The effect of post-war prosperity by the end of the 1950s
  • The 1959 General Election and its significance
  • The leadership of Harold Macmillan and Sir Alec Douglas-Home to 1964; the problems of the ‘Establishment’ including the Profumo Affair
  • Causes of social and cultural change in the Sixties
  • Increased purchasing power and the growth in consumer spending
  • Scientific developments, including new consumer goods, colour television and the contraceptive pill
  • The expansion of the mass media, including the growth of television, changes in radio and the press and the spread of advertising
  • The growth in leisure, including the expansion of leisure activities, increased car ownership and mass tourism
  • Changes in culture and society in the Sixties
  • The emergence of youth culture and new trends in fashion and popular music
  • Student radicalism, anti-war protest and the rise of CND
  • The reduction in censorship and its impact, particularly in relation to TV and cinema; abolition of the death penalty; new laws liberalising divorce, abortion and homosexuality
  • Challenges to traditional ideas of women’s role in society
  • Changing moral attitudes and the debate surrounding social change and the ‘permissive society’
  • The Government and the modernisation of society, 1964–1975
  • The election of the Labour government of 1964; its attitude and contribution to modernisation and social change; Edward Heath and the growing problem of industrial relations
  • Progress towards equality for women, including changes to property and divorce law, the Equal Pay Act of 1970 and Sex Discrimination Act of 1975: the appointment of Margaret Thatcher as leader of the Conservative Party in 1975
  • New ideas on education and the development of comprehensive schools
  • The expansion of higher education and the inauguration of the Open University
  • The growth of multiculturalism to 1975
  • The extent of New Commonwealth immigration in the 1960s
  • The issues of settlement and nationality: the response of the political parties, trade unions and the mass media to immigration
  • Political controversies stemming from the views of Enoch Powell
  • The extent to which Britain was a multicultural society by 1975

AS Examinations

Exam 1

  • France in Revolution, to be taken in January of Year 12
  • 1hour 15mins
  • Students will have a choice of three questions, to answer two.
  • Each question is divided into two parts
  • Part a) questions (01, 03, 05) will begin 'Explain why...?', these questions are examining causation
  • Part b) questions (02, 04, 06) will begin 'How Far...?', 'How important...?' or 'How successful...?', these questions ask students to make a judgement and to discuss other historical opinions along with their own

Exam 2

  • A Sixties Social Revolution?, to be taken in June of Year 12
  • 1hour 30mins - this exam is 15min longer than Exam 1 to enable students to read the source material
  • Question 1 is compulsory.  It is based on three written sources
  • Part a) requires students to compare two sources
  • Part b) asks a general question about the period of study for which students are expected to use both their own knowledge and the sources
  • Students choose one other question from two others to answer
  • Part a) questions ask students to arrive at a judgement about a historical issue
  • Part b) questions will give a quotation and ask students to evaluate the validity of the judgement within it 


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